Community Government Lurgan Politics Upper Bann Westminster

United Voice Needed to Defeat Protocol Protagonists – Lockhart

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has said it is imperative that Unionism speaks with one voice if the Northern Ireland Protocol is to be defeated, and said the groundswell of grassroots unionist opposition should send a message to the leaders of Unionism that the community wants a united voice in support of the restoration of Northern Ireland’s constitutional and economic place in the United Kingdom.

Speaking after attending the anti-Protocol rally at Brownlow House, Lurgan, Carla Lockhart said:

“For every day the Northern Ireland Protocol is in place, our economic detachment from the rest of the United Kingdom becomes deeper and more entrenched. As every week and month passes by, we see Brussels foist more and more legislation upon us, with no democratic accountability for these decisions.

This totally unacceptable situation is not one that will be overcome by division amongst unionism. Any sign of weakness will be seized upon by the Protocol protagonists, whether that be Sinn Fein, SDLP, Alliance, or the EU. They are united in their defence of the Protocol, despite the disastrous economic impact it is having on everyone in Northern Ireland. Resolute, united unionism must stand as one voice in opposition to the Protocol, and in seeking a new way forward that commands that same united unionist support.

I want to thank those from across Upper Bann and beyond who attended the mass rally at Brownlow House. It was a peaceful protest. Peaceful protest is entirely legitimate, and it is important that the right to protest is upheld, not denigrated.

As we approach the Assembly election on 5th May, my message to the unionist family is to stand as one, and to ensure that the leading voice for Northern Ireland is a unionist voice, and an anti-Protocol voice. Any other outcome will be used to dismiss our concerns, and to sustain the status quo. That is an outcome that no right thinking unionist would want. Let us not waste this opportunity to send a clear message to our own Government, and to the EU. Enough is enough.”

Condemning the poster of Doug Beattie that appeared on Friday night, Carla Lockhart added:

“The poster in question was disgusting, and it was a despicable act. It is certainly not representative of those in attendance on Friday night.

Whilst I may not agree with Doug on how best we defeat the Protocol, he is entitled to his views, and any disagreement we will have will always be respectful. 

Resorting to sickening posters like that which we seen on Friday night is cowardly and has no place at these events, or in wider society.”


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